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What does it mean to "make your call and election sure"?

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  • What does it mean to "make your call and election sure"?

    The context is:

    5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    2 Peter 1:5-11 (New King James Version)

  • #2
    The entire letter is largely a polemic against false teachers, and perhaps more broadly, warning against apostasy in general. (I don't use this word as an attempt to invoke the Calvinist-Arminian controversy; that has been discussed enough elsewhere). So I see Peter here calling people to seek to be virtuous to make it more difficult for them to fall, and perhaps words it broadly enough so that even people who think themselves secure will pay attention (sort of like what Paul emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 10:12).
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Joel, KingsGambit...I think King answered well. I think we always have to look at these texts from the standpoint of what we DO KNOW and go from there. We know we are not saved by our own works. We cannot save ourselves by exerting ourselves more. Jesus did the work, it is finished.

      After that it's gotta be all about proper responses to that Good News. If you know that you are a Christian, then you should know that this has happened by God's call upon you and that it comes out of His election of you...now...go make that a sure thing in your own heart and mind. Because we fail at times, we fall down, we backslide and we get uncertain about whether we even know Jesus (some of us). In that state we aren't much good to the Kingdom. Still saved, but not effective. The apostle doesn't want that to happen.

      Comment


      • #4
        KingsGambit is certainly correct about the general thrust of the letter. That said, the instruction to "make your calling and election sure" does strike me as at least mildly problematic for the usual Arminian claim that election is a corporate matter rather than an individual one. But it's not as if Arminians have never read that verse and have no way to interpret it within their system. I'm similarly amused when Arminians quote some verse which they imagine stumps Calvinists.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
          KingsGambit is certainly correct about the general thrust of the letter. That said, the instruction to "make your calling and election sure" does strike me as at least mildly problematic for the usual Arminian claim that election is a corporate matter rather than an individual one. But it's not as if Arminians have never read that verse and have no way to interpret it within their system. I'm similarly amused when Arminians quote some verse which they imagine stumps Calvinists.
          Hi ya Berman! I always enjoy your perspectives.

          Comment


          • #6
            Your comment about the Arminian view on corporate election is patently untrue. They don't believe election is corporate, but that unconditional election is corporate. As for conditional election, here is the correct Arminian view:

            Quote
            Jacobus Arminius was a Dutch pastor and theologian in the late 16thandearly17thcenturies. He was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but after examination of the Scriptures, he rejected his teacher's theologythat it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation. Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, therebymaking it conditional on faith.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by footwasher View Post
              Your comment about the Arminian view on corporate election is patently untrue. They don't believe election is corporate, but that unconditional election is corporate. As for conditional election, here is the correct Arminian view:

              Quote
              Jacobus Arminius was a Dutch pastor and theologian in the late 16thandearly17thcenturies. He was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but after examination of the Scriptures, he rejected his teacher's theologythat it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation. Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, therebymaking it conditional on faith.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism
              I have always thought that making faith the condition for election, was like no election at all. If you want to know whether you are a part of the elected group of chocolate lovers, then choose chocolate. Why employ the term election? If you want to be a Christian, then choose Jesus. That's fine and I agree. But when the Bible brings in a term like election, it seems odd to me that it wouldn't really have much value beyond describing people who choose Jesus as Lord and Savior. There seems to be no need to confuse the matter by talking about them being elect of God.

              Unless God elected them unto faith or to obtain faith...then it makes sense to me.

              Edit in: And I don't mean that it just makes sense to me, as in logical or rational, but also as in what I read in Scripture.
              Last edited by GoBahnsen; 01-29-2014, 08:41 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GoBahnsen View Post
                I have always thought that making faith the condition for election, was like no election at all. If you want to know whether you are a part of the elected group of chocolate lovers, then choose chocolate. Why employ the term election? If you want to be a Christian, then choose Jesus. That's fine and I agree. But when the Bible brings in a term like election, it seems odd to me that it wouldn't really have much value beyond describing people who choose Jesus as Lord and Savior. There seems to be no need to confuse the matter by talking about them being elect of God.

                Unless God elected them unto faith or to obtain faith...then it makes sense to me.

                Edit in: And I don't mean that it just makes sense to me, as in logical or rational, but also as in what I read in Scripture.
                Calvinists seem to equate election with unconditional, arbitrary choice. Of course God sometimes chooses in an arbitrary fashion, but the choices are groups, and He lets the group know, so that they will not boast about the supposed worthiness of their race. Here God tells Israel He never considered their worthiness while choosing:

                Deuteronomy 7
                7"The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,

                Here he tells the Gentiles that the native branches were not knocked off because God found better branches, but because of God's generosity in widening His choice:

                Ephesians 2
                8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast

                IOW, the new man is composed of Jew and Gentile, not just the Old Covenant Jew, to have the honour of inaugurating and implementing God's Kingdom reign, AKA being a blessing to Creation.

                However, He choses individuals based on their heart, the choice vindicated by the high regard they later showed, for God:

                1 Samuel 16
                7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

                1 Samuel 17
                36 “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

                There, I showed an example of conditional election.
                Last edited by footwasher; 01-30-2014, 06:16 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                  Calvinists seem to equate election with unconditional, arbitrary choice. Of course God sometimes chooses in an arbitrary fashion, but the choices are groups, and He lets the group know, so that they will not boast about the supposed worthiness of their race. Here God tells Israel He never considered their worthiness while choosing:

                  Deuteronomy 7
                  7"The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,

                  Here he tells the Gentiles that the native branches were not knocked off because God found better branches, but because of God's generosity in widening His choice:

                  Ephesians 2
                  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast

                  IOW, the new man is composed of Jew and Gentile, not just the Old Covenant Jew, to have the honour of inaugurating and implementing God's Kingdom reign, AKA being a blessing to Creation.

                  However, He choses individuals based on their heart, the choice vindicated by the high regard they later showed, for God:

                  1 Samuel 16
                  7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

                  1 Samuel 17
                  36 “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

                  There, I showed an example of conditional election.
                  Hi footwasher. You know I love this subject. It has meant a lot to me over the past several years of my walk. I think you and I spilled some ink together a couple years back? Is this one of the doctrines you are particularly passionate about?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoBahnsen View Post
                    Hi footwasher. You know I love this subject. It has meant a lot to me over the past several years of my walk. I think you and I spilled some ink together a couple years back? Is this one of the doctrines you are particularly passionate about?
                    Never had the honour! Your contemporaries are Tercel, Arminian, Jaltus, etc. In Japaneses I am sansei, youse guys are nisei.

                    I've jousted with RBerman repetively. But I've been practicisin and have got plenty of fresh new material and ammo.

                    Of course I stand on the shoulders of giants: Tercel, Arminian, Jaltus!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One thing that just occurred to me: When we read this verse, are we glossing over the phrase "call and election" and assuming they are the same thing? What if they refer to two separate concepts?
                      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                        Never had the honour! Your contemporaries are Tercel, Arminian, Jaltus, etc. In Japaneses I am sansei, youse guys are nisei.

                        I've jousted with RBerman repetively. But I've been practicisin and have got plenty of fresh new material and ammo.

                        Of course I stand on the shoulders of giants: Tercel, Arminian, Jaltus!
                        What is it that excites you about the debate? Do you feel like you are defending God's honor? "Those Calvinists have turned God into an arbitrary despot...and I must defend God against such horrible misrepresentation!" Is that kind of it for you? Or something else?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GoBahnsen View Post
                          What is it that excites you about the debate? Do you feel like you are defending God's honor? "Those Calvinists have turned God into an arbitrary despot...and I must defend God against such horrible misrepresentation!" Is that kind of it for you? Or something else?
                          I think Calvinists are concerned about being obedient to God and believe it involves being humble: upholding God's sovereignty while holding men responsible for their sins, giving Him ALL the credit for salvation, not being presumptious about one's own saved status, etc. They dont mind the contradictions that holding to these views raise, they just want to give God all the glory, in itself not a bad thing.

                          However, they forget that men are also part of God's creation, and He declared all His creation good. By labelling men bad would seem to NOT glorify God, yes? By calling Adam's Fall not anticipated by God would seem to denigrate His “omni” attributes, yes?

                          Two factors seem to have influenced the misdirection of Calvinist Theology:

                          1. The influence of Greek Philosophy on the theology of the Western Church, including and especially the theological doctrines of Augustine (issue raised in a recent book by Dr George Eldon Ladd and lightly dealt with here: http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=227).

                          2, The ephemeral nature of language, which requires reiteration, even in a face to face communication, because of the dependence of words on context for interpretation. Multiply this ephemeral quality by an order of magnitude of umpteen times to understand the problems this raises in trans-century, trans-culture translation of Scriptural texts and its interpretation!

                          I'm excited that every time I discuss the issue, I find more and more support for the Arminian position!

                          I'm concerned that being loyal to a denomination blocks believers, both Calvinist and Arminian and others loyal to Western Theology, from making their calling (God's call to choose Him or choose self) and election (God's acceptance of those who choose Him) certain. This resulting in their not knowing what role the Holy Spirit plays in the lives of believers who choose God and whom God accepts, and what that work of the Spirit results in.
                          Last edited by footwasher; 01-31-2014, 01:35 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                            I think Calvinists are concerned about being obedient to God and believe it involves being humble: upholding God's sovereignty while holding men responsible for their sins, giving Him ALL the credit for salvation, not being presumptious about one's own saved status, etc. They dont mind the contradictions that holding to these views raise, they just want to give God all the glory, in itself not a bad thing.
                            I think you meant to say "apparent" contradictions. Which of course there will always be in any theological system that is grappling with a God who's ways are "past finding out".

                            However, they forget that men are also part of God's creation,
                            Do they?

                            and He declared all His creation good. By labelling men bad would seem to NOT glorify God, yes?
                            Not sure I follow you here.

                            By calling Adam's Fall not anticipated by God would seem to denigrate His “omni” attributes, yes?
                            Again, not sure what you are getting at or who you attribute this thinking to, the Calvinist or the Arminian?

                            Two factors seem to have influenced the misdirection of Calvinist Theology:

                            1. The influence of Greek Philosophy on the theology of the Western Church, including and especially the theological doctrines of Augustine (issue raised in a recent book by Dr George Eldon Ladd and lightly dealt with here: http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=227).

                            2, The ephemeral nature of language, which requires reiteration, even in a face to face communication, because of the dependence of words on context for interpretation. Multiply this ephemeral quality by an order of magnitude of umpteen times to understand the problems this raises in trans-century, trans-culture translation of Scriptural texts and its interpretation!
                            Over my head.

                            I'm excited that every time I discuss the issue, I find more and more support for the Arminian position!
                            We love to be right


                            I'm concerned that being loyal to a denomination blocks believers, both Calvinist and Arminian and others loyal to Western Theology, from making their calling (God's call to choose Him or choose self) and election (God's acceptance of those who choose Him) certain. This resulting in their not knowing what role the Holy Spirit plays in the lives of believers who choose God and whom God accepts, and what that work of the Spirit results in.
                            Sounds like a legitimate concern to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GoBahnsen View Post
                              I think you meant to say "apparent" contradictions. Which of course there will always be in any theological system that is grappling with a God who's ways are "past finding out".
                              There you go, another example of the carefulness of Calvinism, stating a view about the inscrutable ways of God, yet softening that stance by defending the perspicuity of those ways as conveyed by Scripture!

                              Lets not be wishy washy, it gets one nowhere, ask Job if you don't believe me. God had to force him to man up and speak his mind.

                              There's no two ways about it, Christian Theology is a hard slog, Christ stated that the full implications would be hard for a novice to absorb and bear, and that the Holy Spirit would lead into truth as competency increased.

                              How about it if a comprehensive view was laid out, without contradictions? Would you examine it with an open mind? Even if it meant setting aside all you have invested in a view beset with “apparent contradictions”? (What kind of hermeneutics allows the presence of apparent contradictions, paradoxes? That itself should be a warning of an inadequate construct).

                              Would you examine views supported by fresh discoveries of historical evidence, documentary proof, for consideration towards belief, even if it mean giving up investments in denominational relationships?

                              Such views have already been posted here by Tercel, Arminian and their colleagues, but in parts. Would you consider, for acceptance, a robust, coherent, comprehensive collation of these views if they form a logical understanding of the material found in the Biblical texts?

                              Do they?
                              Augustine used Manichaean argumentation in his debate with Pelagius, yet the Western Church conveniently choses to ignore this weakness in his views. Read Ladd or the link provided.

                              Not sure I follow you here.
                              See above.

                              Over my head.
                              If your earthly father gave you eggs instead of scorpions, why would your heavenly Father with-hold the Holy Spirit from you if you ask? I couldn't explain without the leading of the Spirit, nor would you comprehend what was stated, without the same.

                              We love to be right.
                              We NEED to be right, because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against an Enemy who would love to prevent the words from taking root. To sink in, our words should be cogent, AND lucid. God's word is like fire, a hammer that breaks even rocks.

                              Sounds like a legitimate concern to me.
                              And one that continues to worry. Posting in parts is never going to rectify the situation and I'm using applications that collate these parts to form a whole. It needs to be presented in a stand alone, integrated unit and it needs to have inputs from the assembly of the saints. Because that's how it was formed. Through discussion.

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